FamilySearch Granted Access By CNIL to Parish and Civil Registrations; European Union Right to Privacy on the Internet and Records; IAJGS Records Access Alert #france
Jan Meisels Allen
Below are several items of interest for the French SIG subscribers:
1. Last month while at the National Genealogy Society conference, Dennis
Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch mentioned that a recent French court
decision was opening records and that FamilySearch was going to take
advantage of obtaining the records within the legal time constraints
permitted. I contacted Rosanne Leeson to inquire if she had any
information about this, and she had not. However several weeks later
the French Genealogy Blog did which Rosanne kindly shared with me and is
allowing me to post about this rather than she. Here is the link:
scroll down to the June 7 posting where Mme. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin,
the current president of the CNIL (the Commission Nationale de
l'Informatique et des Libertes) has granted authority to
FamilySearch to: Preserve parish and civil registrations, ten-year
indices to them as well as census returns, in order to publish
the data online, under certain conditions, and transfer the personal
data of the above, again under certain conditions,
to the United States, in order to index that data
The restrictions are listed in the article- and there are many which can
be read in the link listed above. The full decision is on LegiFrance:
While the decision is written in French both Google and Chrome have free
translation programs on their websites for those who require a translation.
The article does question if this will come to be due to the amount of
hoops that Family Search must go through and the article also
raises an interesting question if FamilySearch received this
opportunity because theyare free access to the user while other
organizations which require paid subscriptions or charge for
access have previously been denied such access.
While it certainly is hoped that this access is fully granted as it will
bring the long-awaited indexing of all French parish and civil
registrations, thus for the first time allowing them to be searched
2. [>from May 24 IAJGS Records Access Alert in part ] Earlier this
May the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament met
to discuss the latest draft of Europe's Data Protection Regulation.
The proposals for the overhaul of the European Union's [EU] data
protection laws come >from the European Commission. The original
laws date >from 1995, and need to be updated for the Internet Age.
According to Wikipedia the scope of the proposed regulation update
applies if the data controller or processor(organization) or the
data subject (person) is based in the EU.
Furthermore(and unlike the current Directive) the Regulation also
applies to organizations based outside the European Union if
they process personal data of EU residents. The European Union
defines personal data as any information relating to an individual,
whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life.
It can be anything >from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details,
posts on social networking websites,medical information, or a
computer's IP address." The plan is to create one
directly applicable regulation to replace 27 different national data
protection and privacy laws. There is no consensus as to the public
services aspects and the expected vote on May 29 has been postponed
probably to late June or mid July. To read more about the delayed
vote go to:
At its April 2013 meeting in Amsterdam, the Steering Committee of
the Section of Professional Associations of the International Council on
Archives (ICA SPA) expressed its concern about the draft European Data
Protection Regulation. Their concern is that it will result in the
destruction of personal data. They also refer people to the French
Association of Archivists AAF. To read their
concern and for the link to the French Association of Archivists and
what they suggest go to: http://www.ica.org/? lid=3D14318.
(It is written in English) The French archivists state the
reason for the European Parliament proposal including the provision
on organizations based outside of the European Union is to prevent internet
companies >from retaining and using personal information. They believe
data needs to be preserved with controlled access.
[>from June 17 Records Access Alert in part] In the June 17 edition
of the New York Times there is an article on the Association of French
Archivists and the European Union's measures would grant Internet users a
right to be forgotten, letting them delete damaging references to
themselves in search engines, appear to be in conflict. To try to
soften the EU's position the Association of French Archivists started
a petition which currently has 50,000 names which
they plan to present to the EU lawmakers.
However, there are many other suggestions for modification and the
recent disclosure of the US government's PRISM program may effect what
the EU does to soften or not. To read the article go to:
3. The above information on the European Union and the French Archivists
are the types of information that are purpose of the IAJGS Records Access
IAJGS may be able to promote advocacy which would be included in the
posting on the alert where advocacy is not permitted on the listserves
hosted by JewishGen such as the French SIG. Therefore, if you are
invited to subscribe to the IAJGS Records Access Alert-it is free.
To read more about the European Union and the French Archivists you
can access the Alerts archives, but you are required to be a
Registered Alerts subscriber.
To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to:
follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and
JGS/JHS/SIG/JewishGen affiliation. You will receive an email
response that you have to reply to or the subscription will
not be finalized.
If you want full details of the postings please go to the Records Access
Alert and access the archives:
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee